Alright, ladies and gentlemen, let's tempt some fate.
There are few players who have recovered from pariah status quite so quickly as John Lackey. Once persona non grata throughout the city of Boston following a disappointing-then-terrible start to his Red Sox career, Lackey earned total redemption with a strong 2013 which saw him anchor a rotation that led the team to a World Series championship.
That's in the past, though. 2014 is a new year, and it could see Lackey go toe-to-toe with the likes of Justin Verlander and Michael Wacha again, or see him fall off whatever cliff it was that he finally climbed back up last year. Even had his 2010 and 2011 campaigns not put the thought in our minds, Lackey is 35, and all pitchers break down somewhere along the line.
Hopefully that won't occur this year, at least. But dare we tempt fate by asking for/expecting too much?